Over 95% victims of hate crime are Muslims in India: APCR

South AsiaOver 95% victims of hate crime are Muslims in India: APCR

NEW DELHI, India: The New-Delhi based Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) has recorded a total of 56 instances comprising 39 hate crimes and 17 incidents of hate speech in January 2024, according to India Tomorrow.

A total of 95.5% of hate crime and hate speech victims recorded this month belonged to the Muslim community, with the remaining 4.5% identified as Christians.

   

The APCR report titled ‘Hate Crime Tracker’ was released recently. It says that although the number of hate crimes and hate speech were much higher than the data represented.

In its introduction, the report says, “Despite the assurance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which included “Sabka Vishwas”, crimes against religious minorities did not stop in India.”

This report says that the majority of the hate crimes encompassed mob violence, and communal violence (39.3%). The attacks on property (23%), and physical assault (21.3%) while a small proportion of incidents of intimidation/harassment of individuals (9.8%), sexual violence (4.9%), and violence causing death (1.6%) were also recorded.

According to the report, the maximum number of hate speeches (33.3%) were made by political leaders. Ten percent of hate speeches were made by religious leaders.

The report says that Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest rate of hate crimes and hate speech at 25.4% followed by Uttar Pradesh (22.03%), Maharashtra (20.3%), Karnataka (11.86%), Gujarat (3.4%), Bihar (3.39%).

Manipur, Rajasthan, Goa, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, and Telangana stood at the last spot with only 1.69% incidents from each state.

The APCR report defines a hate crime as a criminal act committed against an individual or a victim because of their race, religion, colour, national origin, sexual orientation, or other personal traits which is motivated by hostility and prejudice.

The report defined hate speech as a harmful language promoting hatred or violence against certain groups or individuals. It said, “A hate speech is an expression that advocates, incites, promotes, or justifies hatred, violence, and discrimination against a person or group of persons for various reasons.”

The report classified different hate crimes as mob violence, attacks on property, intimidation or harassment, sexual violence, physical assault and violence causing death.

The report quotes Prime Minister Narendra Modi who during the consecration ceremony of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya in January 2024 proclaimed in his speech “The construction of this temple of Ram Lalla is also a symbol of peace, patience, harmony and coordination in Indian society.”

The APCR report then adds, “On the contrary, the situation in different Indian states including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, and others was not as peaceful as claimed. There were provocations, violence, and communal clashes in the name of celebrations- followed by the Ram Navami violence pattern.”

The report says that members of Hindutva organisations conducted rallies with provocative slogans and songs from Muslim-dominated areas. It said that the sitting MLAs of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party missed no chance to communalise the circumstances and promote anti-Muslim rioting.

APCR has only included verified instances.

The report said, “It must be noted that the data APCR collected was more than twice what was used in the report.”

While the incidents of hate crime in India reached to their worst level, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) does not maintain data under the head ‘hate crime’.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in December 2022, informed the Rajya Sabha that the Indian Penal Code (IPC) does not define any crime as a ‘hate crime’ and it overlooked the need for such a definition.

The report noted that the home ministry in March 2022 responded to a question that in the year 2017, NCRB collected data on cases of mob lynching, hate crimes, etc, but it was observed that the data was unreliable.

In this backdrop APCR has stepped in to fill the void in response to the critical gap in data collection and accountability. It recognizes the urgent need to track and document hate crimes against minorities in India.

The report underlined that despite stern guidelines issued by the Supreme Court to take “immediate” action against any and every hate speech, the state and the police show complacency with no substantial actions.

This report also noted the punitive action of the Indian government that recently blocked the hate crime tracker website “Hindutva Watch” in India under section 69A of the IT Act.

The APCR report said, “Blocking a hate crime tracker suggests a deliberate attempt to suppress information and evade responsibility for addressing these crimes.”

The report says that the absence of official data on hate crimes and hate speeches in India reflects a concerning lack of recognition and accountability for these prevalent issues.

“The Government of India sends a troubling message of indifference towards the safety and well-being of minority communities by failing to maintain records or acknowledge the prevalence of such crimes”, underlined the report.

The report concluded that the negligence by the government perpetuated a culture of impunity and sabotaged the efforts to protect the rights of vulnerable groups.

Mati
Mati
Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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